US asks to investigate murder of Saleem
WASHINGTON: The United States on Wednesday provided more talk as the State Department called on the Pakistani government to investigate the murder of an investigative journalists.
On Tuesday, Syed Saleem Shahzad was found dead near a waterworks in the central Punjab district of Mandi Bahauddin, about 150 km to the southwest of capital Islamabad. Three days ago he had gone missing while on his way to a TV interview through the Islamabad streets.
In Washington, addressing journalists, Mark Toner, Deputy Spokesman for the State Department said, “It’s unclear what happened. We’ve called on Pakistani authorities to investigate the circumstances of his death.”
Toner told journalists that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton issued a statement late night and explained the delayed reaction from the State Department saying, “We get these things from various bureaus within the Department, and we release them as soon as they’re available. I’d rather do that than hold them overnight on what is a news event.”
“The United States strongly condemns the abduction and killing of reporter Syed Saleem Shahzad,” said Clinton in a State Department statement, adding, “His work reporting on terrorism and intelligence issues in Pakistan brought to light the troubles extremism poses to Pakistan’s stability.”
On the question of if the Secretary or any other state department official made any personal calls to Islamabad, Toner said, “I’m not aware that the Secretary has made any direct calls to her Pakistani counterparts about it.”
Dismissing it as one of regular human rights issues, Toner said, “We continue to raise these types of human rights and freedom of the press issues all the time with Pakistani Government officials.”
Source: The News